Tag Archives: Workouts

Mount Pleasant Meadows opens for training

Mount Pleasant Meadows is inching closer to the start of its 2011 meet.

Mixed breed racetrack Mount Pleasant Meadows opened its facilities for workouts on Wednesday in preparation for a 2011 live meet that looks more and more likely to occur.

The central Michigan oval became the destination of Michigan’s Thoroughbred meet following the voluntary surrender of Pinnacle Race Course’s racing license earlier this year. The track also features Quarter Horse, Paint Horse and Arabian racing.

Local trainers Tom Dunlap and Dave Gates filled the day’s work tab with Quarter Horse and paint breezes. To view the times for Wednesday’s workouts, click here.

Mount Pleasant briefly opened the track for workouts in mid-May, but soon closed back up following a conflict with the state. The track’s simulcast area has been unaffected by those issues and remains open.

No official dates have been announced for Mount Pleasant’s 2011 meet, but speculation from reliable sources suggests that opening day will likely be scheduled for late July. According to the Michigan HBPA website, negotiations are currently being conducted between the racetrack and all of the horsemen’s groups involved to complete a contract and get racing underway.

The Morning Sun, Mount Pleasant’s local paper, was on the scene for the day’s workouts and put together a photo slideshow featuring an interview with Dave Gates. To view the slideshow, click here.

To follow all the workouts from Mount Pleasant Meadows as they become available day-by-day, click here.

UPDATE: The Morning Sun followed through on the photo slideshow with a story on the front page of Thursday’s print edition.

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Back to work

Well, hello there…

This notice is to inform you that one or more of your horses has worked out.

Mrs. Murphy

Your Comment:

Date: August 25, 2009
Track: PINNACLE RACE COURSE
Distance: Four Furlongs
Time: 54:00 Breezing
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: Dirt
Rank: 22/24

- Equibase.com

It’s nice to see Murph back on the work tab. I’m not sure where this will take her, but if I find anything out, you know where to find it.

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Preparing for Pinnacle

Mrs. Murphy had another workout this morning…

This notice is to inform you that one or more of your horses has worked out. 

Mrs. Murphy

Your Comment: 

Date: May 30, 2009
Track: PINNACLE RACE COURSE
Distance: Five Furlongs
Time: 1.06:00 Breezing
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: Dirt
Rank: 16/23

- Equibase.com

This workout was a step up in terms of distance and not finishing behind everyone else – both of which I consider to be positive signs.

Opening day at Pinnacle Race Course is next Friday, which means it is time to start looking through the condition book for spots for her second start, and her first in Detroit. My guess is she will probably be entered in restricted maiden claiming events until she either breaks her maiden or proves she can hang in Maiden Special Weight company.

With that in mind, here are some of the maiden claiming races for fillies coming up in the near future. If she’s ready to go, I figure we’ll see her in one of these spots.

Day 2: June 6 - Purse: $5,800 Fillies & Mares 3yo & up, Six Furlongs, Claiming Price: $6,250
 * This is a sub race, so it might not see the light of day.
Day 3: June 7 – Purse: $6,000 F&M 3&up, 5f, Tag: $12,500
 * Another sub race
Day 7: June 14 – Purse: $5,800 F&M, 3&up, 5f, Tag: $6,250
 * Yet another sub race. One of these has to make the live card, right?
Day 8: June 16 – Purse: $5,800 F&M, 3&up, one mile, Tag: $6,250
 * Surprise, surprise. Another sub race. Doubt she’d get put in at a mile anyway.
Day 10: June 20 –  Purse: $6,600 F&M, 3&up, 5.5f, Tag: $12,500
Day 11: June 21 – Purse: $5,800 F&M, 3&up, 6f, Tag: $6,250
  * A sub race
Day 13: June 26 – Purse: $8,100 (includes $2,000 supplement) MI-bred F&M, 3&up, 5.5f, Tag: $8,000
 * A sub race, but don’t be shocked to see this one make the card. 

That’s about it for the first condition book. Hopefully some of these races make it on the card and Mrs. Murphy can get off the snide quickly in case the racing dates dry up. Keep it here for the latest.

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Back on the work tab

Got this in the inbox earlier today…

This notice is to inform you that one or more of your horses has worked out. 

Mrs. Murphy

Your Comment: 

Date: May 19, 2009
Track: PINNACLE RACE COURSE
Distance: Four Furlongs
Time: 56:80 Breezing
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: Dirt
Rank: 60/60

Okay, so last out of 60 isn’t exactly the sexiest number on paper, and that time is downright crawling, but a return to Michigan gives me reason for optimism. Even at its lowest maiden claiming levels, Chicago can be a tough place for a Michigan-bred to start out compared to like-priced maiden claimers at Pinnacle. She’s probably got a while before her next start (Pinnacle’s meet doesn’t open until June 5), so she can afford to be brought along at a slower pace. Just as long as she goes all out when they start to count, that’s all that matters.

If anything else, at least I’ll be able to get some pictures of her this time around.

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Michigan Notebook: May 8, 2009

- As if the Michigan racing industry didn’t have enough on its plate fighting for next year’s Ag Equine Fund monies, Gov. Jennifer Granholm landed another haymaker on Tuesday. From the Michigan HBPA… 

GOVERNOR’S ORDER: An executive order to reduce the projected 1.2 billion shortfall for Michigan’s 2008-09 Budget was issued May 5, 2009 to cut 300 million dollars. In the order to restore a reduction in ORC funding of 3.8 million, 1.4 million was taken from the thoroughbred programs for 2009. In doing so, that leaves -0- for Michigan bred supplements, breeders awards, and stakes races. End result, the state saves .12%, but takes 100% from equine funds. Not certain .12% will have any significant impact on the states problems, certain  100% reduction surely eliminates the breeding industry in Michigan. Attempts will be made to restore funding to an industry that is and has been a producer for the state. It is difficult to understand the rationale to eliminate a revenue producing industry, especially when the revenue received for programs comes directly from the statewide thoroughbred simulcast signal.

This new twist is part of my continuing investigation regarding the state’s cuts to the racing industry. I know I have been teasing this for a while, but the story will be coming to fruition sooner rather than later.

- Representatives from the various facets of the horse racing industry testified Wednesday before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture. A horsemen’s rally was held in front of the Capitol Building before the hearing, organized by the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association. Aside from gathering around the Capitol and holding signs, the horsemen took up the side of the road with trucks, trailers, tractors and other farm equipment. It was quite the sight. Though the event was put on by the harness people, whose numbers reached triple digits, it was also open to horsemen from the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse sectors, of which I am disappointed to say there were very few.

As for the hearing itself, the horsemen represented themselves very well in their testimonies, explaining the industry’s impact on the state economy and its struggles from within the state and elsewhere.

Speaking for the Thoroughbred sector was breeder/MTOBA Director Rick McCune, Michigan HBPA Executive Director Gary Tinkle and owner/trainer/HBPA Director Robert Gorham. Mount Pleasant Meadows was represented by  Great Lakes Quarter Horse Association Vice President Carolyn Bay and owner Mike Bale. I’m not going to claim that I know too much about the harness side of the racing business, but the MHHA’s president, Brett Boyd is one heck of a public speaker. His speeches during the rally and before the subcommittee were both top shelf. Also delivering a convincing testimony in favor of the racing industry was former Michigan Speaker of the House Larry Julian, who recieved applause from the capacity crowd afterward.

Now, we’ll see if any of it made any effect on the House members in attendance.

Once the House makes its recommendations, it will meet with the Senate for a joint session before sending their version of the budget to the Governor for her approval.

- This Sunday marks the rescheduled opening day at Mount Pleasant Meadows. The card filled, but the fields are still very small. Of the eight races, four feature five-horse fields and the other four will send four horses to the gates. 

- In some unfortunate news, I came out of the Great Lakes Downs online auction empty-handed. It looks like that moment of sweet redemption where I finally get that clump of dirt isn’t going to happen. Boo-urns. However, it appears the Muskegon Chronicle has picked up the slack in terms of recording the tearing down of the track in this article.

- Speaking of Great Lakes Downs, the two-plus-year investigation by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau finally produced some kind of results on Thursday. Tampa Bay Online reports that jockey Ricardo Valdes was “indicted Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit sports bribery.” Valdes is one of seven jockeys, including regular GLD riders T.D. Houghton, Joe Judice, and Jose Delgado, who faced scrutiny following a number of suspicious bets placed at Delaware Park on a race at Great Lakes Downs in 2006. Valdes was not a regular rider at GLD, but made occasional appearances at the Muskegon track during the 2006 race meet.

- Now that training has opened up at Pinnacle Race Course, a new feature I am going to try to get going is listing some of the notable workouts at Pinnacle for the previous week. Here is the trial run…

2008 MI 2yo of the year Mr. Conclusive – May 5 – 3f, 39.40b, 13/20
2008 Sickle’s Image winner Ittybittymeadow – May 5 – 3f, 38.20b, 8/20
4 1/2 furlong track record holder Weepster – May 5 – 3f 39.40b, 13/20
2008 Mackinac Hcp. winner Bishop Casey – May 5 – 4f, 51.20b, 3/5

- One more thing. Consider this your fair warning that the alternative wagering poll is coming down in the near future, likely sometime next week. After a long neck-and-neck battle, the slot machines are once again beginning to pull away from advance deposit wagering. Can they hang on? That’s up to you. Go vote!

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Filed under Great Lakes Downs, Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pinnacle Race Course, Politics

Inching closer…

Look at what I found in my inbox earlier today…

This notice is to inform you that one or more of your horses has worked out.

Mrs. Murphy 

Your Comment: 

Date: March 20, 2009
Track: HAWTHORNE
Distance: Four Furlongs
Time: 53:80 Breezing
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: Dirt
Rank: 27/34

- From Equibase.com

For those of you keeping score at home, this is her third workout. She stretched out an extra panel this time around, so perhaps her owner/trainer has something in mind for her in the near future. As always, keep it here for further updates.

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Murph at work

Big happenings at Hawthorne Race Course…

This notice is to inform you that one or more of your horses has worked out. 

Mrs. Murphy

Your Comment: 

Date: March 6, 2009
Track: HAWTHORNE
Distance: Three Furlongs
Time: 40:80 Breezing
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: Dirt
Rank: 8/11

- From: Equibase Virtual Stable

It’s a nostril slower than her previous workout and the time did lag behind most of the other horses to work three panels at Hawthorne today, but there is cause for optimism. After cross-referencing her times with those at Beulah Park, a track at a more comparable level of competition to what she will face this summer, I saw she was closer to the norm. For a horse who has yet to make a start and only has two works under her belt, I’ll take that.

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It begins…

Saw this in my inbox earlier today. Felt the need to share…

This notice is to inform you that one or more of your horses has worked out. 
Mrs. Murphy
Your Comment: 

Date: February 25, 2009
Track: HAWTHORNE
Distance: Three Furlongs
Time: 40:40 Breezing
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: Dirt
Rank: 30/33

From: Equibase Virtual Stable 

For those of you who do not recall why this is important (check out #6), I am listed as the breeder to Mrs. Murphy, which entitles me to 10% of the gross purse if she wins a race in Michigan.

Aside from the obvious monetary interest I have in Mrs. Murphy, I will also cheer for her because her bloodlines run several generations back into our family stable. Her dam, Janies Enjoyment, and granddam, Janies Echo both ran under my grandpa’s colors at Great Lakes Downs and Detroit Race Course respectively. The fact that she was named in honor of my late grandma Murphy gives her sentimental value as well. 

Of course, if she runs at Hawthorne, this gets me nothing but an excuse for a road trip, but it is still exciting to see her owner/trainer has her at the track and is getting her ready to start somewhere. For my bank account’s sake, I hope she holds off until Pinnacle Race Course opens up in June, but I have no problem driving to Hawthorne or her trainer’s other out-of-state base, Presque Isle Downs, to see her run her first race. Lord knows I haven’t driven longer distances to see a live horse race.

If and when she is confirmed to start, expect full and exhaustive coverage right here. I am fully prepared to blow off class to cover this.

Come on, people. Get excited!

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Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, The Family Business